Rethinking Journalism Training with European Youth Press in Berlin

MAP partnered with the European Youth Press on “Rethinking Journalism”, a seven-day training session on peace journalism and conflict reporting that brought together 32 young journalists and media professionals from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The training took place in Berlin in Germany from 14 to 21 September 2014. The project was organized by the European Youth Press in cooperation with YouthPress in Germany, FEJS in Latvija, YouthPress in Austria, Media Association for Peace – MAP in Lebanon, AJMEC in Tunisia and ONAuBiH in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

MAP Founder, President and Executive Director Ms. Vanessa Bassil served as a consultant and trainer on the project and delivered sessions on conflict and peace journalism. She also contributed to the Rethinking Journalism Magazine, by writing the following article as a guide for journalists:

The aim of the training session was for the participants to familiarise themselves with the concepts of conflict-sensitive journalism and peace journalism. These concepts were developed to facilitate reporting about conflicts and to help represent different interests in societies in a more solution-oriented manner. Furthermore, they intend to aid journalists in avoiding stereotypes, prejudices, and the escalation of conflict situations through the use of self-reflection. The project’s main aim was to stress on the role of a free and independent press as well as a balanced, in-depth reporting.

This training session also aspired to give the participants insights and knowledge about the field of conflict-sensitive journalism and peace journalism and to strengthen their intercultural skills through learning from and alongside each other and actively contributing to the contents of the exchange.

Throughout the training, the participants analyzed existing news and reports about conflicts and defined tendencies in today’s conflict reporting. They debated what ideal journalistic ethics and balanced reports on conflicts should look like and had the opportunity to learn from each other, as well as from seasoned speakers and experts who have extensive experience when it comes to conflict reporting. In addition to the theoretical aspects of the training session, the participants produced reports for an online magazine in small groups. These reports were widely distributed through the network of the European Youth Press, reaching around 60,000 young journalists in Europe and neighboring regions.